The Little Sim World Strategy GDD

Little Sim World is an Indie Open World 2D Life Simulator with RPG and planned multiplayer elements that has been in development since March 2019 for the PC and Mac. Little Sim World is designed and self-funded by Terry Jin with the help of a few friends who have a passion for the Sims genre. It is unique in design but also takes much inspiration from the likes of The Sims, Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley and Pokemon.

For the simplified Gameplay GDD, please see here.

Website: https://lsw.gg (for screenshots)
Twitter: https://lsw.gg/twitter
Patreon: https://lsw.gg/patreon (pre-alpha build)
YouTube: https://lsw.gg/youtube
Terry's CV: https://tzj.io

Full Title: Terry Jin's Little Sim World
Tags: 2D, Life-Simulation, RPG, Open-World, Cute, Lifestyle, Cozy.
Target Platform: PC & Mac.
Distribution: Epic, Steam and Patreon direct download.
Connectivity: Single-player (multiplayer after early access ends ~ 2023-2024).
Engine: C#, 2D Unity 2020.
Team Location: Terry is based in Cambridge, UK (other members are working remotely). Registered in HMRC Companies House, UK.
Planned Release Date: Early Access Q4 2022 (Alpha, Steam/Epic)
Base Price: $25 (to be determined).
Pricing Model: Single time payment. Future DLCs may be possible, but in the distant future and only if the existing content is good enough. Subscription payment for dedicated servers for multiplayer and Patreon will continue.

Other platforms are a possibility. At the moment of writing, we are not very keen on the PS5 or Xbox but mobile and the Switch is possible if funding allows. However, it is much more important that we succeed first on the PC before moving to other platforms. This is open to discussion, however.

Little Sim World is designed and self-funded by Terry Jin with the help of a few friends who have a passion for the Sims genre. We started the project in March of 2019. LSW is unique in design but also takes much inspiration from the likes of The Sims, Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley and Pokemon.

Team LSW has expanded from around 3 people to 8 people today (all full time). We are looking to eventually expand the team to around 11 for the PC team.

At the time of writing, the team consists of (with CVs attached):

  1. Founder/Designer: Terry Jin
  2. Lead Programmer: Jack Young
  3. Programmer: Arthur Sousa
  4. Programmer: Lucas
  5. Lead Artist: Michel Saito
  6. Artist: Ronnel Infante
  7. Animator: Pedro Teixeira
  8. Lead QA/Recruiting: Djordje Stanisavljevic

Team strengths: we are heavily focused on efficient and clean workflows. Everything related to design, art and more are entirely documented in full clarity. We are also very focused on hiring and reaching out to the best talents such that we have a very steady development process.

More clothing and character customisation will be added to the game, as well as more shops. These shops are not part of the timeline but will be added periodically over time. This includes the gym, pub, furniture store, cafe, supermarket and much more.

Q3 2021: Wellbeing added to the game. This includes features of hunger, thirst and more. Please refer to the game documentation for more details.
Q3 2021: Additional furniture implemented into the game with player interactions as well as furniture store.
Q4 2021: Basic careers mode added.
Q1 2022: We can begin adding player more advance interests into the game for example cooking and fitness.
Q2 2022: Advanced careers mode with more shops implemented. Pub, cafe, supermarket should be ready at this point.
Q3 2022: Expansions to the world map for more player events such as the book store, restaurants and more.
Q4 2022: Expanded player events such as Easter, summer holidays and Christmas.
Q1 2023: Dating features implemented with NPCs.

In 2021, the most popular games by revenue are mobile F2P. Second to mobile are strong console/PC IPs with high replayability. For us, we are passionate about indie games and wanted to occupy a niche that has not been covered before. The vast majority of games have been designed for a male-dominated audience and there are very few games that female gamers can sufficiently enjoy. There are mobile games, but we believe they lack depth and sophistication on a meaningful level.

The two biggest female-dominated IPs to date are the Sims and Animal Crossing franchises. We believe that Little Sim World can offer an indie experience that has both depth and the aesthetical appeal to match.

After development started, it was quickly discovered by us that Sim games are far more difficult to create than envisaged due to the heavy modularity required in customisation, animation and heavy art requirements. This is our belief why no indie developer has attempted and released a real indie Sim game of meaningful value. Little Sim World has very little direct competition whereas other genres are heavily saturated. We were able to get such a quick following with no funding because we believe the quality of the game speaks for itself and players that understand the Sim/AC franchise can quickly recognise this.

In addition, we believe our current character creation system and build mode is the best that has been made in any 2D/indie game up to date. This is very relevant to the subsequent sections of this GDD.

Little Sim World is designed with scalability and replayability in mind. Implementation of gameplay mechanics must always have emphasis on asset reusability. Indie games are highly restricted on budget, which means we must in prudent in our design choice. High cost scripted scenes and linear storylines are generally minimised in Little Sim World in favour of meaningful, highly rewarding open world gameplay. The mindset is therefore always 'if this is implemented, does it serve a purpose beyond a single-use?'.

We are not making games seeking a quick return. I put much emphasis on this - it must always come first. The player experience must always come first, above all else. They must feel rewarded for playing Little Sim World, and believe that it was great value for their time. If a feature is not ready, we do not cut corners and push out mediocre content. We must always go above and beyond and I believe the entire team is behind me on this mindset. This is a fundamental part of our work.

Little Sim World is set in the heart of London with streets bustling full of cars, NPCs and all sorts of busy shops. The entire world at the player's disposal with no loading or transition screens. It takes much inspiration from the likes of The Sims, Animal Crossing, Pokemon and Don't Starve.

We have spoken to thousands of our fans on our Discord (currently 4500 members), as well as our own design plans and a successful Sim game can be reduced down to three fundamental aspects:

  1. Meaningful character development and customisation.
  2. A sophisticated build mode.
  3. Careers mode that is engaging.

These are the three cornerstones that players care about. There is not a single game that manages to provide all three. Animal Crossing manages point number 1 and 2, but lacks character development and there is no careers mode or 'gameplay'. The Sims manages both points 1 and 2 but lacks a good careers mode as well as character development.

There are a further two points that players really care about:

  1. Dating with NPCs/Storyline
  2. Multiplayer peer-to-peer (P2P) and subscription-based dedicated servers.

These two points are well implemented in Stardew Valley (SDV), but SDV misses out on character customisation and also the build mode.

Perhaps ambitious, but with all 5 points well implemented, we believe that Little Sim World can by definition compete with the likes of the above games and may go even further to be a far larger IP comparable to the likes of Minecraft if the multiplayer is well implemented.

  • gdd/main.txt
  • Last modified: 14:04 23/09/2021
  • by Terry Jin